Since discovering Haruki Murakami's novels as a teen, his stories and scenes revisit me at completely random moments in my life. The same stands for the images of photographer Araki, an artist who also deals with love and death and the theme of melancholy; the perpetual chase for something lost that cannot be defined nor found. Now, the work of these two Japanese visionaries finally collides, although not directly. Kiko Mizuhara, who will play lead in the film adaptation of Murakami's book, Norwegian Wood, just modeled in Barney's holiday campaign shot by Araki. The photos grasp a mild version of the sensuality that Araki always achieves without the 'death' undertones he usually evokes.
All photos Courtesy of Barney's New York (2010).
The cliché display of saccharine frivolity in holiday campaigns is apparently meant to encourage indiscriminate shopping-mania. But the overly accessorized, blingy blonde and brunette gals with bylines that read, 'all that dazzles!' and 'sparkle sparkle!' are a real turnoff for a window shopper wanting to be inspired by something different in a holiday campaign. Araki and Mizuhara do something different, something unexpected with their shoot for Barney's. The saturated color and gorgeous, filmic blur make me dream, make me wonder. This will be the best holiday campaign for a North American department store this year. No contest.